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Posts Tagged ‘Cloud Servers’

 

Security Basics: 5 Steps to Tighten Security for Microsoft Windows

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 by

Security studies (including GoGrid’s internal research) strongly demonstrate that most systems will be attackedattack-in-5-hours within 5 hours after becoming publicly accessible—in some cases, in less than 2 hours. The sources of the attacks are often unsuspecting users whose systems have been compromised by malware and are in turn being used to attack and infect other systems. The majority of attacks target two common threats:

  1. A combination of commonly used system accounts (e.g., the Administrator account) with weak, dictionary-based passwords
  2. Systems that are missing critical or high-security vulnerabilities

Solution

This document provides GoGrid’s security recommendations for Cloud Servers running Microsoft Windows. Perform these 5 steps in sequential order immediately after provisioning new GoGrid Cloud Servers to maintain the integrity and security of your system.

Note: For a step-by-step how-to with screenshots, please see the companion article, “How To Tighten Up Windows Security.”

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GoGrid Launches new PHP-enabled Windows 2008 Cloud Servers

Monday, October 27th, 2008 by

win2k8_robot_php_gogrid_sm GoGrid recently released 4 new Windows Server 2008 images unique to Cloud Computing that brings a new level of features for PHP and ASP.NET developers. In the past, there was heavy segmentation between developers who used .NET for development and those who used PHP. Traditionally, .NET developers used the Windows platform while PHP developers remained fairly closely tied to Linux distributions. Windows Server 2008 marks a new generation of platform for both types of developers in that now with 1 server platform both PHP and ASP.NET applications can be run simultaneously on the same machine under the same OS. This means that companies and corporations can realize new cost savings and IT efficiencies by now allowing development on a single Windows Server 2008 platform.

GoGrid has released 4 new 32-bit Windows Server 2008 GoGrid Cloud Servers with the following configurations (with more on the way soon):

  • Windows Server 2008 – IIS 7.0, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express, PHP5 (WISP stack)
  • Windows Server 2008 – IIS 7.0, ASP.NET, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express, PHP5 (WISP+.NET stack)
  • Windows Server 2008 – IIS 7.0, mySQL 5, PHP5 (WIMP stack)
  • Windows Server 2008 – Apache, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express, PHP5 (WASP stack)

The two WISP stacks were fully vetted and optimized with the help of senior engineers within Microsoft, employing best practices for not only base-lining these WISP images, but also with IIS optimization and security.

As mentioned within the recent press release, “default PHP installations run extremely well on Windows Server 2008 without any need for additional fine-tuning and Windows is a solid infrastructure solution for PHP development and deployment. The combination of PHP, ASP.NET and the .NET framework is a robust offering for any type of developer utilizing Microsoft and Open Source technologies.”

GoGrid released these new images specifically for the Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference 2008 (PDC) where GoGrid is exhibiting at booth #914. The PDC is Microsoft’s premier gathering of leading-edge developers and architects and is the event to learn about the future of the Microsoft platform, exchange ideas with fellow professionals and hear about upcoming Microsoft Server related products. Developers who utilize Microsoft technologies are encouraged to visit the GoGrid booth where they can receive a free trial of GoGrid Cloud Servers.

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Windows in the Cloud? Been there, done that!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 by

Today (Wednesday) there were a flurry of announcements about Microsoft Windows suddenly being available in the Cloud, first by Amazon Web Services and then by 3tera. (Oh, and now since the writing of the first draft of this post, Steve Ballmer just revealed the “Windows Cloud.”) It made me scratch my head a bit. If you are a regular reader of this blog or are familiar with GoGrid in general, you would know by now that GoGrid has been offering Windows Server 2003 (and more recently Windows Server 2008) in the Cloud since the public launch at the beginning of 2008. So why is this suddenly “breaking news” in the industry? Probably because the Goliath in the Cloud industry, Amazon, has thrown its weight behind this.

Being the “David” though has its definite advantages. Having the ability to introduce new and different Operating Systems and features quickly (weeks as opposed to quarters or years) is a clear plus. And being able to offer a “complete” package is another. One thing that Amazon EC2 users are used to is using a command line to control their EC2 server instances. Many of those users are Linux programmers and developers – those who are well versed “in the command line.” Windows users are a very different breed. For them, the GUI is very important. Users want to see icons, click on them, use menus, etc. to “make things happen.”

When we started developing GoGrid over 3 years ago, the user experience was a huge factor in determining the feature set. We settled on using Google’s Web Toolkit (GWT) because it provided the structure to create a rich experience without compromising performance. We won awards (Linux World 2008′s Best of Show) for our implementation. The rich web portal won the hearts of many for its ease of use and the eye candy.

GoGrid users wanted to also control their infrastructure programmatically as well. We responded with a public API for full “control in the cloud.” The GoGrid API is a huge untapped resource for any developer. Add the rich experience of a graphical web interface with the programmatic power of an API; GoGrid provides the full control spectrum for all types of users. 

So, before you run off spawning a bunch of EC2 Windows servers (oh wait, you can’t yet), remember that GoGrid has already almost a year of proven experience providing Windows Server 2003/2008 to end users… we are also a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

Regardless, it is important for Cloud Users to have a choice. Making the proper one is the challenge however, which means that (as I have mentioned before) one has to look beyond the Cloud itself and also at the ancillary services (SLA, Support, Industry knowledge, etc.) when making the choice.